The 90th annual Academy Awards kicked off with the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Sam Rockwell took home the award for his work as a corrupt police officer in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It was the first win of the evening for the film, which came into the show with a total of seven nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for star Frances McDormand.
The Best Actor category was in many ways a showcase for Three Billboards, with both Rockwell and co-star Woody Harrelson nominated for their work in the film. Richard Jenkins’ performance in the Guillermo del Toro film The Shape of Water was also nominated, as was Christopher Plummer for his performance — as a last-minute Kevin Spacey replacement, no less — in All the Money in the World. But Willem Dafoe’s nomination for The Florida Project was the most idiosyncratic nomination in the category. Sean Baker’s film was widely considered to be an awards favorite after its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, but the film lost momentum as awards season progressed, and it ended with only the single nomination for Dafoe’s work.